Constructing a New Measure of Macropartisanship Disaggregated by Race and Ethnicity

Macropartisanship is a measure of aggregate trends in party identification in the mass public that allows researchers to track partisanship dynamically. In previous research, macropartisanship was found to vary in concert with major political events and forces like presidential approval and the economy. However, studying macropartisanship as an aggregate trend assumes that group dynamics within the measure are equivalent. We present a series of new measures of macropartisanship using Stimson’s (2018) dyad ratio approach disaggregated by race and ethnicity. We detail the creation of measures for White, Latino, and Black macropartisanship from 1983 to 2016 using more than 500 surveys from CBS News and CBS/New York Times. The resulting data collection is publicly available and can be downloaded in monthly, quarterly, or yearly format. Our initial analysis of these data show that thinking about macropartisanship as a single aggregate measure masks important and significant variation in our understanding of party identification. Change in the measures are uncorrelated. Latino macropartisanship is more volatile and responds more to economic conditions, Black macropartisanship is very stable and has become more Democratic in response to increased polarization, while White macropartisanship has become less responsive to economic conditions as has become more Republican as Republicans have moved to the right.

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License CC BY
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 170 - Race and Gender